Satisfaction with Presidential Primary Process Dropping Among Both Parties, Annenberg Data Show

    Fewer than one in three Democrats (30.9%) is satisfied with the presidential primary process this election season. That level has dropped significantly since the beginning of the year. Although satisfaction rates with the primary process are significantly higher among Republicans, those rates also have declined substantially since the first of the year.

    The data are being released today by the National Annenberg Election Survey of the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania.

    In another finding released today, public opinion on the role that superdelegates should play in deciding the Democratic nominee differs significantly between supporters of Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York and Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois.

    A clear majority of Sen. Obama’s supporters believe that superdelegates should vote for the candidate who received the most popular votes during the primaries. Sen. Clinton’s backers are significantly more divided, and more likely than Obama supporters to say superdelegates should use their “best judgment” in making their decisions. Currently, Sen. Obama has won 49.5 percent of the popular vote to Sen. Clinton’s 46.9 percent. The next presidential primary is scheduled for April 22 in Pennsylvania.

    ”Clearly, the underlying tendency is for Americans to want the popular vote to matter most. However, in such a tight and highly contested race, people’s loyalty to a candidate also enters into their feelings about what should govern the superdelegates’ decisions,” said Diana Mutz, director of innovation for the National Annenberg Election Survey.